JACKSON — Consumers Energy has increased its Michigan-based capital spend, keeping a commitment made when it enrolled as one of the first participants in the State of Michigan’s Pure Michigan Business Connect initiative.

Consumers Energy’s initial report released today indicates that in the first three months under its new “Michigan preferred” purchasing program, it paid Michigan companies $2.8 million and awarded $71 million in new multi-year contracts.  This initial report includes 17 Michigan-based companies.

“We’ve made a good start on this ‘Michigan preferred’ journey with Governor Rick Snyder, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and many partners towards building a stronger state economy,” said John G. Russell, Consumers Energy’s president and CEO. “Our commitment to Michigan companies means more money stays in our state because of Pure Michigan Business Connect. This program is consistent with our strategy of operating as efficiently as possible on behalf of our customers.”

Consumers Energy has committed to actual increased payments of $50 million per year for five years for its Michigan-based capital spend. The commitment to increase spending with Michigan companies is in addition to the annual $2 billion currently spent in the state by Consumers Energy. Consumers Energy, which celebrates its 125th anniversary later this year, is one of the largest investors in Michigan.

To implement the new purchasing policy, Consumers Energy revised its purchasing strategy and is working closely with state-based supply chain directors and business organizations on this initiative. The utility has created a new page on its Web site to make it easier for suppliers to learn about its “Michigan preferred” purchasing strategy and supplier requirements. To get the information, visit    www.consumersenergy.com/puremichigan.

Said MEDC president and CEO Mike Finney: “Consumers Energy’s report demonstrates that Pure Michigan Business Connect is a real initiative that will drive further investment in our state. Membership is growing in this exciting initiative, which will have a positive impact on Michigan’s economy.”

Consumers Energy’s first report on its Pure Michigan Business Connect initiative highlights the following:

* Grand River Construction Co., Hudsonville, was contracted to prepare site infrastructure supporting a major expansion project for the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant, jointly owned by Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison. Grand River is building new fabrication shops and a crane rail extension. Grand River subcontracted the sheet piling and auger cast pile work associated with its contract to Hardman Construction, Ludington, and subcontracted the electrical work associated with its contract to Newkirk Electric, Muskegon.
* Walbridge Co., Detroit, was contracted for construction services at Consumers Energy’s largest underground natural gas storage field and compressor facility, the Ray Compressor Station Plant 3, near Armada in Macomb County. Walbridge will construct the balance of the plant’s mechanical, electrical and control systems. The expanded Ray Plant will consist of five new engine-compressor units.
* United Solar, Auburn Hills, was hired as the equipment provider of a solar energy system installed at Consumers Energy’s request at The Green Well Gastro Pub in Grand Rapids as part of the utility’s SmartStreet program. Cascade Renewable Energy, Grand Rapids, supplied engineering and design services for this project.
* Continental Canteen, Sterling Heights, arranged for hiring of the Jackson Coffee Co. — replacing a national chain — to provide service to Consumers Energy’s headquarters in Jackson.

Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), provides natural gas and electricity to 6.8 million of Michigan’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.


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